The TIST program has
three separate but related aims: development, commercial opportunity,
The development goal of the TIST program is to empower and equip subsistence
farmers to restore their natural environment, increase soil fertility,
create jobs, strengthen the local community, and move from famine to surplus.
Groups active in the Diocese of Mpwapwa developed these goals during the
first phase of the project, and Small Groups are the key to successful
implementation of the programs. Training, agriculture activities, forestation
activities, and administration are accomplished through the Small Groups
rather than through existing political or administrative channels. Local
and international expertise is offered to groups. In seminars and mothly
node meetings, training takes place in Small Group best practices, nursery
development, tree planiting and care, conservation farming techniques,
HIV/AIDS, nutrition and other areas of economic development and capacity
building. Local and national experts in agriculture and forestry, and
the experience and wisdom of the farmers themselves, is disseminated through
the seminars, meetings and newsletters. International research and resources
are also used whenever appropriate.
development usually means that the society "meets the needs of today
without compromising the ability of future generations to also meet their
needs." For TIST, it also means the program will result in a long-term
beneficial impact on the participants and habitat. In fact, the TIST groups
have gone beyond mere sustainability by "making a better life
for the next generation."
A farmer's plot dug with TIST taught conservation farming methods
Trees, a long term economic resource
The replication goal of the TIST program is to generate an exportable
model that can be implemented in other settings that have need for
reforestation and economic development programs.